Spain’s six teams get back into action this weekend after a week off with three games.
The highlight of the weekend will be Sunday’s matchup between the two undefeated teams, the Badalona Dracs and the surprising Murcia Cobras, newcomers to the top league this year. In other action, the much-improved Reus Imperials will take on the Valencia Giants while the Valencia Firebats will face the Barbera Rookies in a battle of the two winless teams.
Saturday Feb. 4, 7 PM
Reus Imperials (1-1) – Valencia Giants (1-1)
The Imperials and Giants, each with a win under their belts, need to try to keep pace with the high flying Badalona Dracs so this is already a must win game for both teams. The Imperials opened well against the Dracs two weeks ago, only to suffer an embarrassing 54-6 loss. Reus had shocked the Valencia Firebats in the season opener beating them 33-18.
Meanwhile the Giants enter this contest fresh from a resounding victory over crosstown rivals the Valencia Firebats beating them 41-16 two weeks ago. Quarterback TJ Tutone was superb in that game throwing three touchdown passes and generally causing havoc in the Firebats defense. In 2016, the Imperials defeated the Giants in both meetings both times by the narrowest of margins. This promises to be another great game.
Sunday Feb. 5
Badalona Dracs (2-0) – Murcia Cobras (2-0)
In a battle of the undefeateds, the powerful Dracs will face the Cobras for the first time after Murcia moved up from division II. First place is at stake after Badalona soundly defeated the Reus Imperials two weeks ago 54-6 and comfortably downed the Barbera Rookies in the opening weekend 35-14 despite trailing early 14-0.
Dracs receiver Hunter Lee has been on fire so far scoring six touchdowns in two games while quarterback Sergi Gonzalo threw seven touchdown passes alone in the win over the Imperials.
Meanwhile, the Cobras have proven that the move up from the second division where they went unbeaten in 2016 has not been as difficult as first thought. Murcia manhandled the Rookies two weeks ago 37-6 behind the passing of quarterback Angel Clemente and the legs of running back Kevin Gramage.
Nevertheless, they will be facing the tough Badalona defense who have picked up where they left off in 2016 as the stingiest defense in Spain.
Watch Live Sunday Feb. 5, 11 am CET (5 am EST)
Saturday Feb. 4
Valencia Firebats (0-2) – Barbera Rookies (0-2)
The 2016 finalists, the Valencia Firebats have opened the 2017 season in dismal fashion, dropping their first two games by lopsides scores. Valencia lost their opening game to the surprising Reus Imperials 33-18 and followed that up with an embarrassing 41-16 loss to the Valencia Giants. This game thus becomes crucial for the Firebats to climb back into contention.
Despite the outstanding play of running back Ben Sasu, the Firebats have not been able to find any of the form they had in the past two seasons which saw them win the title in 2015 and advance to the final last year.
The Barberà Rookies also enter the game in need of wins, after falling to the Dracs (14-35) and Cobras (37-6). The loss of quarterback Sebastian Frausto to injury on the opening day was a blow to the team from Barberà del Vallès, The season does not look promising without their starting quarterback.
The Firebats look poised to pick up their first win of the year.